Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A year gone by

If you're ever in the market for a natural birthing class, I would highly recommend the Bradley Method.

Besides everything that we learned, the friendships that we made through the experience (and the Bradley series is definitely an experience!) sustained me for at least the first 6 months after Roscoe was born, and they continue to hold a special place in my heart. It's funny how we barely even talked to each other during the 12 week course, week after week, hour after hour--sharing so much about our private lives during class-time yet otherwise keeping to ourselves.

On the night of our final class the walls came down. Maybe it was the 2 hour marathon of birth videos, which portrayed in no uncertain terms what it was that we were all about to experience. Despite our differences we were on the same path, and in that last hour of class we were a heap of swollen pregnant women united. In the weeks that followed there was very little contact between any of us until Lillian, the first of the babies was born. Then, in quick succession, the others followed: Evan, Sammy, Roscoe, Gunner, and Jonathan. And we were all mommas!

Once the kids arrived, the necessity of a good support system was clear and so we quickly organized ourselves. Every week for six full months we rotated houses, restaurants, and local attractions. In October, when a few of us returned to work, our routine changed to once-a-month potlucks that included all the dads too.

Lillian and Evan just celebrated their first birthdays and as the year comes to a close for the rest of us, our Bradley group is naturally dissolving. We've all evolved as parents, and families--three of us prepping for the next addition, and one family moving to the Hawaiian islands later this month. It's bittersweet to complete the first leg of what has been an amazing adventure, as we pioneer into the next.

As a group, we're as varied as they come but, we were brought together by our shared desire for natural birth. In the end, two babies were born at home, four in hospital, and two by c-section. Our individual birth stories offer quite a contrast! And while our parenting styles are connected on many levels, our practices run the spectrum.

One thing is certain: If ever I need a sympathetic ear or a bit of advice, I know who to call. Roscoe was born in the middle of the bunch, and so I have friends with kids directly in front of and behind him. In the first few months when every week brings huge advancements, I always enjoyed my visits with Heidi and Lillian because I got a sneak peek into whatever baby milestones and achievements there might be to look forward to in the weeks ahead. And it was fun to be in a position to give advice to my friends with the younger babies, especially in the beginning when otherwise I would be the very last person in the world asked to dispense advice about newborns! The important thing was that each woman offered something special to the rest of the moms.

It's no wonder then that I grew to depend so much on each of the other girls. And it makes sense now that our dependency on each other is waning. It's sad to think that many of the friendships we develop through our children will be stage-dependent. We're through our first year, and moving on.

Still, I sense that at least a few lifelong friendships have been established over the course of the past year, and I also know that my approach to mothering has been shaped by the other five Bradley moms. It has been extraordinary to have five other incredible women who are also fabulous mothers, to bounce ideas off of, to share the dark and the bright times, and to have the cherished opportunity to be a part of the lives (from their very start!) of five other beautiful babies.

Last Friday night, we convened for what may be our last Bradley get together. We went out as a group, without our babies, for a date night. It was weird not to have 6 little people to distract us in conversation, and the opportunity to delve into adult topics that we never ever seem to get around to when our attention is otherwise scattered in every direction.

I tried not to think about the fact that Katie is moving away, and taking our little Sammy-saurus with her. It makes me sad!!

We managed to eat a nice meal, drink pitchers (and more pitchers) of sangria, and stop at dairy queen on the way back to our houses. I was really hoping for a final photo to capture the group with one year under our belts, but of course I left my camera at home. I asked the cashier to take a few shots of us with our iphone, and unfortunately, this was what we got:


Blurred, with two husbands cropped out, and that is the best photo in the set!

At this point I think we've all become accustomed to imperfection, and plans gone awry, so in a way maybe this is a fitting end to an unforgettable beginning.

3 comments :

  1. love this, Jacqueline! You put into words exactly what I've been thinking lately....feeling like we're moving on to the next stage, most likely separately.

    thanks for taking the time to write this! I pray you, Andy, and Roscoe are blessed in all that you do, and I wish you best of luck in preparing for the next littlest addition to your family.

    Give Roscoe a birthday hug from us on his birthday! Evan is 1 today! Yeah!!!!

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  2. THAT WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL POST!! LOL No seriously it was!

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  3. Love it J...so bittersweet and true. Especially the part of dependency and confidence in your own mothering style apart from the other mommas. Thank you so much for writing this :) I am going to keep a copy to look back on! I want to go to Mateo's with you guys for another go at some SANGRIA :)

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